Senate Dems stonewall Iran resolution, handing victory to Obama
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Senate Democrats blocked a resolution disapproving the Iran nuclear deal for a third time Thursday, sealing a major foreign policy victory for President Obama. 

Senators voted 56-42 against ending debate on the resolution of disapproval, falling short of the 60 votes needed on the procedural motion.

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Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Businesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech MORE (Md.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Health Care: Senate takes up massive HHS spending bill next week | Companies see no sign of drugmakers cutting prices, despite Trump claims | Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit with new ad The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) MORE (W.Va.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap MORE (N.J.) and Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTo make the House of Representatives work again, make it bigger Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (N.Y.) for a third time bucked Obama and voted "no" on the deal.

GOP Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Trump escalates feud with intel critics | Tesla shares fall after troubling Musk interview | House panel considers subpoena for Twitter's Jack Dorsey | Why Turkish citizens are breaking their iPhones Overnight Defense: Trump cancels military parade, blames DC for cost | DC mayor hits back | Pentagon warns China 'likely' training for strikes against US | Turkey refuses to release US pastor On Russia we need diplomacy, not just sanctions MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP looks to injure Nelson over Russia comments Rubio’s pro-family, conservative family leave policy promotes stability Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries MORE (Fla.) missed the vote, while Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz calls out O'Rourke for supporting NFL players' anthem protests Beto O’Rourke: Term limits can help keep politicians from turning into a--holes Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Graham: Flynn should lose security clearance Press needs to restore its credibility on the FBI and Justice Department MORE (S.C.) voted to end debate. All four took part in Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate in California.

The vote came just hours ahead of the deadline for lawmakers to pass a resolution on the deal. With neither chamber of Congress expected to take another vote on Iran, the administration is poised to protect the agreement after months of intense lobbying aimed at solidifying Democratic support.

Opponents of the deal appeared to acknowledge defeat ahead of Thursday's vote. 

"This agreement is moving forward, we all know that," Cardin, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, adding that lawmakers should now focus on next steps to strengthen the agreement. 

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances White House weighs clawing back State, foreign aid funding Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Tenn.), who spearheaded legislation that allows for Congress to debate and vote on the agreement, added that Republicans understand that "42 senators are causing a filibuster to take place and that we're not every going to be able to get to that vote on conscience.” 

Republicans argue that Democrats are blocking the resolution in an effort to protect Obama from having to use a veto, something he's only had to use four times while in office. 

Thursday's vote comes after Democrats previously blocked the resolution of disapproval from moving forward twice. Republicans had hoped that by staging repeat votes they could pressure at least two more Democrats to buck Obama and vote against the deal. 

But Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP’s midterm strategy takes shape Battle of the billionaires drives Nevada contest Senate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh MORE (D-Nev.) suggested that Republicans were wasting precious floor time with only a handful of working days left ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

"Senator McConnell has decided to waste an entire week on something that has already been decided, twice," he said. "Despite the fact that the government will be shut down in a matter of days, the world's greatest deliberative body is doing a show vote." 

Reid previously offered to let the Senate move to a final vote on the Iran nuclear deal if Republicans would agree to setting a 60-vote threshold for final passage. 

While McConnell rejected the deal, it's gained at least one Republican supporter: Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Voters will punish Congress for ignoring duty on war and peace GOP Senate candidate truncates Trump tweet in campaign mailer MORE (R-Ariz.), who said he wants to take a final vote "and not just have endless cloture votes." 

"Take it," he said, referring to Reid's offer. "Let's get to a final vote. We've seen the end of this movie already." 

But McConnell appeared to be sticking to his strategy — even after his attempt to force a tough vote on Democrats failed. 

"Democrats have chosen to deny the Senate a final vote on the president's deal with Iran. They made their choice," he said. "Democrats ensured that this would be not just Obama's deal with Iran, but the Democratic Party's deal with Iran, too."
 
— This story was updated at 5:40 p.m.